A tax by any other name is still a tax according to the Idaho Supreme Court, but Nampa officials are holding tough on their position a new storm drain tax revenue scheme is just a “fee.”
The Supremes ruled on a Lewiston case last month. The GUARDIAN first broke the Nampa story back in April when officials planned to implement a tax similar to the one the Supremes ruled was improper in Lewiston. The city is caught in a bind, but was inept when it came to honestly telling residents they needed to raise taxes.
Now the City has to defend a lawsuit asking for declaratory judgement to cancel the “fee.” Paul Alldredge of the Caldwell GUARDIAN filed this report:
Republic Storage of Nampa (aka Twin Islands LLC) is seeking declaratory or injunctive relief from “Nampa Storm Water Utility” fees imposed by Ordinance 3928. Republic is asserting the storm water fee is a tax implemented without Constitutional, State Legislative, or police power to enact. Further, Republic is citing this tax/fee as a violation of the Idaho Constitution Art. 7 sec. 5 as the tax/fee amounts to a non uniform tax on all property. Republic also claimed there is no discernible service connected with the Storm Water Utility fees.
Republic is seeking injunctive relief to preclude any further collections of the Storm Water Utility fees pending litigation challenging the validity of Nampa Storm Water Utility fees.
Nampa’s privately contracted legal firm will potentially be able to have a really happy New Year with more legal fees if they defend a class action suit representing 80,000 residents. Seems more responsible to call a tax a tax and live with it.
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